I went hiking with my husband and daughters (16 and 12) yesterday in the beautiful White Oak Canyon of Shenendoah National Park. It was a gorgeous sunny day in the 60's. Couldn't have asked for better weather. The trail was so pretty. For most of the day we hiked next to a rushing stream, so we had the peaceful sounds of the water soothing us as we walked. The leaves were not on the trees yet so we didn't have the usual greenery, but the advantage of that was greater visibility of the mountains in the distance and of the many waterfalls that you pass along the trail. It was just a really great day.
Now I guess to say that I hiked "with" my daughters might be a bit misleading. In truth they have way more energy and stamina than I do so they spent most of the day about a 1/2 mile out in front of me. They bounced along while I dragged myself upward at a somewhat slower pace. But while we may not have spent the day talking and bonding in that way, we still all walked away with the same memories. We still got out and were active in the fresh air together. I hope I still instilled in them that I value fitness and nature. And taking the time off from other activities to share that with them. I think they had fun. I know I sure did, even though I am sore this morning. I would highly recommend hiking with your children of all ages. In this world of media and rushing around, the simplicity of nature is a welcome environment in which to connect with those you love.